When you’re a caregiver, especially long-term, your whole identity can become wrapped up that term — care-giving!
It’s not all wrong.
If you’ve been put in that position, you’ve been called by God to exercise great mercy and compassion toward someone in need.
Depending on how great the need, your life revolves around this mission.
It’s exhausting. Draining. Sometimes soul-sucking. Like the last two nights for me…We’re waiting for yet another surgery.
Corrective where the last surgery failed to do its job. It’s a six week wait. Meanwhile, the ramifications for my loved one are brutal. Up and down every few hours all day and all night in sheer misery.
I’m not saying this so you can send a boatload of pity my way. No, indeed. I just want you to know I’m walking in your shoes. I get it!
Your life as a care-giver may be totally and completely upside down right now.
You may find yourself careening of the edge of mental and physical wholeness.
Your relationship to your spouse changes in so many ways, it’s hard to describe them all.
At my wit’s end a few weeks ago, I yelled (not screamed) at my loved one — very ill and refusing to go to the doctor. I almost called the ambulance, but wanted to avoid that drama. Yelling beat that option, but it wasn’t pretty. I felt like a meanie.
Sure enough, a trip to the doctor was the first stop on the journey of multiple doctor’s visits that led to the revelation of needing a third surgery in 18 months.
Yep, the infection could have been life-threatening, but my yelling possibly saved my loved one’s life. Could I have accomplished this another way? I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t.
Sick and sorrowful of heart, I needed a healing ointment for my soul.
I found it. Church, God’s people, God’s Word, and time alone with my Heavenly Father.
Am I totally whole now? Is all the hurt left behind. NO! But I know WHO I am in Jesus Christ and WHAT riches of love are mine.
I’m not just a caregiver! I’m a beloved daughter of the King. I’m a joint heir with Jesus. He’s preparing a “forever home” for me, His adopted daughter.
Like Jesus warns us in the Gospel of John, “I have told you these things so that in ME you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Someone somewhere sagely stated – You’re always in one of three stages in life. You’re entering a great trial. You’re enduring a great trial. Or, you will be enduring a great trial soon.